We have developed four priority areas on which to focus the work of the PSA, at least initially. Those are Cohesion, Health and Wellbeing, Localisation and the Social Work Academy.
The University has provided academic support to Birmingham City Council’s Social Inclusion Process. Convened by the Bishop of Birmingham; this was established to address fundamental social and economic issues in the city in order to improve opportunities and aspirations for all and especially those who are most disadvantaged. The University is both represented on the steering group and a team of academics from the College has supported each of the key themes of the Process.
Health and Wellbeing
We are working with City Council colleagues to explore the role of health and wellbeing boards. We know there is a huge agenda for us to get to grips, acclimatising to the changing commissioning infrastructure and operating within an expanding well-being agenda. Additionally colleagues are investigating the issue of urban resilience and the links between this and wellbeing in the widest sense. All this knowledge also fits into our teaching and professional development programmes and the University has an outstanding pedigree in working with clinical and management professionals in the region and beyond.
Health and Well-being
Devolution is central to the City Council’s agenda. The report and recommendations of the University’s Policy Commission on the future of local public services are very much in line with the City Council’s developing strategy and we will be working to explore how these shared aspirations can be turned into practice. Those who will be most charged with implementing localisation will be the front line public service professionals, many of whom are alumni of this university.
The Social Work Academy
We have been delivering social work training here at the University of Birmingham for over 100 years and now University colleagues are facilitating the delivery of a range of master classes and courses for managers and practitioners in Children’s Services through this academy. In addition, colleagues are also working with the Adults Directorate, developing education and development programmes. At the same time, City Council staff are contributing to teaching at the University, participating in student interviews and assessing students’ practice capabilities.
Social Work Academy